No matter what people say about Allen Iverson, no one can ever deny that he was one of the greatest to ever walk the NBA hardwood. And for the 2000-01 season, he placed a validation stamp on his greatness, taking home the most valued prize by an individual player, the MVP Award. A.I. put up averages of 31 points, 4.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. An amazing feat considering he'd have to be standing on a Manhattan telephone book to reach six feet in height. Iverson is the shortest player to ever win the MVP, and with the help of coach Larry Brown, he led the Sixers to a 56-26 record and to the Finals where they lost in five games to an overpowering Lakers squad that featured Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant.
"It's special because of everything I went through last summer," Iverson said. "I had to look in the mirror and see things I didn't do right as a person or a player. I promised myself when I look in the mirror after this season, I'll know I did everything right." -May 16, 2001
Iverson received 1,121 points to beat out San Antonio's Tim Duncan (706 points) and Los Angeles' Shaquille O'Neal (578 points) from the panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
The award caps an amazing turnaround for Iverson, who was nearly traded the previous summer because of his contentious relationship with coach Brown.
But after promising to change his ways before training camp, Iverson lived up to his word, taking over as team captain, playing unselfishly and becoming a leader on the court.
Iverson was the first Sixer to win the award since Moses Malone in 1982-83, the last year Philadelphia won a championship. Wilt Chamberlain and Julius Erving also won the award for the Sixers.
Allen Iverson discusses 2001 MVP award: